Discover the Fascinating Autumn Leaves of Fruit Trees

Discover the Fascinating Autumn Leaves of Fruit Trees

William Sibley

Now that the Autumn is upon us, the leaf is starting to change colour and is preparing to drop. This is a perfectly natural response to the beautiful Autumn season.  This change within the tree is fascinating so please allow me to explain more…

A plant needs three main conditions to grow; adequate water, adequate temperature and adequate light. As the days lengthen in late February and March, a combination of hormones and auxins within the plant trigger a response and buds start to swell and grow. That trigger is day length and it has an influence on something in the plant called brassinosteroids, which are in effect light receptors.  As the year travels on and we see the longest day, we also see the maximum amount of the plant's growth. As Autumn approaches and the day length shortens, then the plant's growth becomes less and less until the tree decides Thats it. I am done for this year. Goodnight”!  This can result in leaves dropping completely, or in the case of citrus, for the old leaf to become rather twisted in a short spiral shape. 

We advise you to remove any loose leaf and to prune your tree.   When Spring arrives, you can then look forward to seeing the new leaf and blossom buds bursting out again.

New tree orders

For new trees ordered in Autumn, please note that when we prepare your trees for despatch, we will also prune them ready for you and remove any loose leaf.  This might mean your tree looks a little sparse upon its arrival, but we can assure you that it is healthy. If you have any concerns, then please drop us a line at